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G. D. ROBERTS ET AL. v. JAMES N. WADE (12/21/78)

decided: December 21, 1978.

G. D. ROBERTS ET AL., PETITIONERS
v.
JAMES N. WADE, SECRETARY OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Administration in case of G. D. Roberts, B. A. Yanetti, P. R. Ciprich, M. J. O'Brien, R. V. Roth, G. W. Eddy, R. J. Piscotty, T. H. Shelar, S. P. Strawser and C. P. Miller v. Office of Administration, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

COUNSEL

John R. White, with him Campbell and White, for petitioners.

Joseph Kenneth Hegedus, Deputy Attorney General, with him Norman J. Watkins, Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Civil Litigation, and Gerald Gornish, Acting Attorney General, for respondent.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Blatt, DiSalle and MacPhail. Judges Crumlish, Jr. and Craig did not participate. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 39 Pa. Commw. Page 380]

In Roberts v. Office of Administration, 30 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 19, 372 A.2d 1233 (1977), on an appeal from a decision that Pennsylvania State Police officers' alleged reclassification did not constitute a demotion, we remanded to the Secretary of Administration (Secretary) for a hearing on the merits. The Secretary complied with our remand order and, on October 17, 1977, rendered an adjudication granting the appellants herein the relief they requested; namely, promoting them to the rank of corporal retroactively to

[ 39 Pa. Commw. Page 381]

March 23, 1972 with attendant pay, seniority, and other applicable benefits.

On November 2, 1977, the Attorney General requested the Secretary to reconsider his adjudication. On March 16, 1978, the Secretary reversed his previous adjudication. This appeal followed and we reverse.

In Roberts v. Office of Administration, supra, 30 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. at 21-22, 372 A.2d at 1234, we set forth the background of the instant appeal:

In 1969 the State Police Commissioner (Commissioner) instituted the new rank of Crime Investigation Specialist (CIS), together with a special training program, and invited state policemen to apply for it. Appellants applied and were admitted in May, 1970. They were immediately advanced to a pay scale equivalent to that of Corporal, and were removed from the normal competitive ranks and restricted to competition for promotion within the CIS series.

On March 23, 1972, the CIS program was terminated as a result of an opinion of the Attorney General wherein he stated that the program as it then existed was illegal because of the absence of rules and regulations governing it, and because the initial entry of individuals into the program was in disregard of merit principles. Appellants were thereupon reclassified to the rank of Trooper, but received no reduction in pay. At that time, a section of the Pennsylvania State Police Field Regulations provided for an informal procedure for the airing of grievances. Though Appellants ...


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